If there is one person at any automaker who has the ultimate responsibility of taking care of the company and its employees, it’s the CEO. There is no doubt that each chief executive had to be creative during the pandemic-induced industry downturn. But Toyota boss Akio Toyoda was probably the most imaginative of them all, which made him the latest recipient of the World Car Person of the Year award.
Composed of 93 motoring journalists around the world, the World Car Awards jury voted for Toyoda-san for his work in keeping Toyota profitable amid the dire economic conditions brought about by the coronavirus outbreak. The automaker’s work on eco-friendly cars and digital ecosystems was also cited as one of the deciding factors. The awards body even mentioned the fact that Toyoda is a keen driver himself and is actively participating in motorsports.
The selection was narrowed down to five finalists, which Toyoda bested. See below the list of the runners-up:
- Pratap Bose – Global Design vice president, Tata Motors
- Chung Eui-sun – chairman, Hyundai Motor Group
- Luc Donckerwolke – chief creative officer, Hyundai Motor Group
- Tomiko Takeuchi – MX-30 program manager, Mazda Motor Corporation
The World Car Person of the Year award is one of six accolades given annually by World Car Awards to recognize individuals who have made meaningful contributions to the industry or significant breakthroughs in automotive engineering. Previous recipients have included Carlos Tavares (Stellantis CEO), Sergio Marchionne (former Ferrari CEO), and Hakan Samuelsson (Volvo president and CEO).